July 22, 2013

Charleston, Part One: Husk & McCrady's

I spent a few rainy days in Charleston recently eating and drinking a good bit around town. We had solid meals at every stop. sA few more posts are forthcoming, but I'm starting, for no particular reason, with meals at Husk and McCrady's, two restaurants under the tutelage of James Beard-award winning chef Sean Brock.
Set in a refurbished 18th century Victorian-style home with wrap around rocking-chair porches, walking up to Husk feels as if one is arriving for Sunday dinner at a friend's house (albeit, a friend with a big house). Brock's mission at Husk is fairly simple: low country ingredients (all menu items and products are sourced in the south), prepared thoughtfully in a casual and homey environment on Queen Street in Charleston.
Picture above: The purveyor board hangs on the wall just inside the front door at Husk. A testament to the commitment to source products from local farmers, ranchers, and producers.
Bread service at Husk: Warm rolls topped with the ubiquitous-in-Charleston-benne seeds accompanied by honey butter infused with pork fat. Yes, fat and carbs be damned, you want to eat this bread and butter.
A starter of crostini with pimento cheese, Benton's bacon, and house pickles.
Cross-section of the Husk cheeseburger with 10% Benton's bacon in the grind.
Baked Geechie Boy grits with Mepkin Abbey Oyster mushrooms and cheddar cheese. Decadent, and nap-inducing. Didn't take a picture, but we also had a tasty, seasonal Bibb salad with marinated heirloom tomatoes, Husk ricotta and buttermilk dressing.

Though everything we ate in Charleston was excellent, our best dining experience was undoubtedly at Brock's flagship restaurant McCrady's. Set in a building constructed in the late 1700s that was originally named McCrady's Tavern (yes, one President George Washington ate in this very space centuries ago), there's a provincial seriousness to eating at McCrady's. One can't help but feel some of the history of the room. The numerous wait staff were never too far afoot, ensuring a well-executed dining experience. 
It's dark in McCrady's, so it's tough to take good pictures. I brought my DSLR along, but I just didn't want to be that guy, snapping pics in this setting. I did manage to take some inconspicuous phone pictures.Some pics of the various dishes throughout the course of the night. There was much more, but here's a taste:
 The fish courses: Black Bass w/ shrimp, grilled okra, tomatoes, squash and roasted garlic butter and grouper with roasted Edisto potatoes, carrots, fennel, and whey (below):
From the meat course picture below is duo of lamb (belly and chop), baby leeks, kolhrabi and peach mostardo. The shredded lamb belly (under the veggies) being one the single greatest things I've tasted recently. Incredible. I'm still salivating thinking about it.The chop was barely cooked and delicious. 

And the duo of Berkshire pork with butterbean chow chow, red onions and chanterelles.
A nice touch during the dessert course below, which rounded out an exemplary meal at McCrady's. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.

Husk on Urbanspoon

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